Iliad Themes

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Date Submitted: 11/13/2012 09:16 PM

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Iliad Paper

Honor and Love


Honor plays a very important role in The Iliad. In The Iliad, honor seems to become more important than life itself. A hero's honor was determined by his courage and physical abilities. During the time of The Iliad, it was most honorable dying in battle. The highest honor a hero could get had to be obtained in battle. Things such as family were not as important and honoring your country. Honor played such a large part in the hero's life, so much that life would be meaningless without it.

Some characters respect honor more than others. Paris does not respect honor, especially when fighting. This was shown when he was fighting and runs away. If he was honorable, he would have stayed on his knees waiting to die. Instead of taking his honor to his deathbed, Paris scampers to his brother, Hektor, and begs for protection. Hector, who did respect honor, saved Paris when Paris' opponent tried to kill him. Hector was the leader of Troy, and he knew that others had to be able to look up to him and see a man that was without fear and would never back down.

An example of extreme honor in The Iliad would be the final fight between Hektor and Achilleus. Achilleus came to Troy, ready to challenge Hektor in vengeance of his cousin, Patriklos. Hector knew that he would die if he battled Achilles, but if he did not he would live without honor. He respected honor so much that he was willing to die to keep it. Even though Hektor loses the fight, in the eyes of his people, he has more honor than if he would have decided not to fight.


Love gives the poem a sense of humanity that all of us can really relate to. In The Iliad Love at time is indecisive, like in our lives, while sometimes it is not. Homer did a great job of drawing parallels between the love of the characters, and the love in our lives. Even though the theme of love does not play a very large role in the story of the poem, it...